Architecture is a broad field of practice, an industry where individual personalities are embraced as intrinsically part of the job. We’re all architects and we all live for design but we’re quite a varied bunch. Here we’ve cheekily compiled a list of the 21 different architects you’ll meet at some point in your career.
The Stealth Fighter
This architect manages to fly under the radar, seemingly just zooming in and out of Revit all day. You wonder how he keeps his job…until one day he sweeps in from underneath you and gets the promotion.
Architects often have to wear many hats in the office and this one is particularly good at wearing the accountant hat and would probably find this article useful. Thanks for keeping the numbers out of the red!
The Project Manager
There has to be someone keeping all the silly little designers on their toes and that is the Project Manager. Awesome at management, but many of these types seemingly can’t manage to design.
The Silent Struggler
Most architects probably fit into this category: you try to keep your cool in the office as you work at your desk but inside you’re cursing the 300 pieces that still need to be glued onto the presentation model for tomorrow’s meeting.
The difference between the Silent Struggler and the Groundhog is that the latter is happy to be doing the work, never seeing the light of day. This architect lives to work and is probably the first to arrive in the office and the last to leave…does this guy live here or something?
There’s something to be said about micro-managers in the office but you always get a good pep-talk from this one. *cue Eye of The Tiger soundtrack*
In some firms, you have the hotshot who just can’t seem to let others do the work. In her mind, she does the design and you simply “support” the creative process, which might actually mean grabbing the coffee. If you ever worked for one of these architects, you might become the next type on the list.
The Great Raconteur
This is the architect that got the coveted 8 week summer internship at some world-renowned firm, and lived to tell the tale... too many tales in fact. Making small talk with this architect probably means having to listen to how wonderfully they did things at firm so-and-so.
This is the architect that comes up with the most fantastic work at the office. Does it matter that it’s two weeks late or that it would be a huge pain for the contractors? Not to this architect. For this one, it’s all about the “vision.”
The Pragmatist is the architect that was probably a contractor in a previous life. Will you get a simple decorated shed from this architect? Yes, but it was probably built on-time and within budget. Does not mingle well with The Artist.
Otherwise known as the Debbie Downer or as Tom Kelley would describe them the Devil’s Advocate in the office, this architect constantly has something to complain about whether it’s his job, a project, or even architecture’s supposed irrelevance. The Pessimist probably enjoys indulging in Ruin Porn.
On the other hand, the optimist is still determined to change the world one project at a time. Le Corbusier is definitely this architect’s idol.
We’re looking at the grown up version of the fresh-faced intern forced by her boss to learn how to code or use ArchiCAD in the 90s. Years later and with tons of knowledge in various software, this architect can model and render ten times faster than anyone at the firm. She readily assists with tech issues at the office, with only the occasional side-eye.
Inversely, this architect is the species of proto-human that makes do with crude tools such as pencils and paper to perform the archaic ritual of manual drafting. This type of architect probably isn’t even reading this post. Apparently, if it’s not printed on paper, it’s not as important.
Theory Theory Theory. The one who writes the next great manifesto for every project presentation.
The Mr./Ms. May-I-Borrow
This architect is the sole reason behind the firm’s choice to buy a plastic label maker—so that everyone’s pens and markers don’t pile up at this architect’s desk.
The one that carries around a flask of a little somethin’ somethin’ for “inspiration.”
The Zen Guy
While you're stressing out over the next deadline, or over whether you sent those drawings to the right person at the planning office, The Zen Guy remains unfazed by whatever life throws his way. His mind is as uncluttered as his desk, and you could swear that as a result of his inhuman mental state he gets more work done and makes fewer mistakes.
4:57... 4:58... 4:59... The moment the clock strikes 5, this architect is already zooming out of the office, leaving the Silent Struggler to his misery and the Groundhog in her happy solace.
The Ol’ Stamper
With great power, comes great responsibility. Wielding a mighty red liner, these “real architects” work their last few years reviewing plans and handing out their seals of approval and ultimately signing off on everyone’s work—everyone but theirs.
And finally we end with the new generation, probably the youngest one at the office, and as Bob Borson writes: the one that isn’t even assigned a desk. The trusty intern usually spends all day building models and drawing up legible details from illegible napkin sketches. But just you wait—soon enough the Intern will grow into her own as one of the other types.